Duhawks drop opener to #25 Wheaton, 87-62
Wed, Nov. 16, 2011 - [Men's Basketball]

#25 Wheaton 87, Loras 62

 

The Loras College men's basketball season opened with a bang on Jordan Harrelson's dunk following the opening tipoff, but the Wheaton Thunder prevailed in the 2011-12 season opener in the AWC on Wednesday night, 87-62.

 

Tim Kelly scored seven first half points to try and counter Wheaton's Tim McCrary's 10, but visiting Thunder shot 50% from the field in the first half, made all eight of their free throws, and knocked down four three-pointers to open a 44-28 halftime lead over the Duhawks.

 

Loras center Dan Pawelski was on the bench early after two quick fouls, and Spencer Schultze chipped in with nine first half points as a result.

 

The Duhawks crept within ten points late in the first half, but the Thunder answered with momentum-draining three pointers and free throws to keep the Duhawks at a safe distance.

 

Jeremy Pflederer knocked down two early three-pointers for the 25th-ranked Thunder early in the second half as the Duhawks tried to work their way into striking distance.

 

Loras turned the ball over 19 times to the Thunder's seven.

 

Connor Mooney scored eight of his team high 12 points in the second half. Harrelson finished five points, six rebounds, and two blocks. Kelly finished with 10 points.

 

Loras was 20-for-22 from the free throw line on the night, Wheaton went 21-of-26.

 

"It was a disappointing loss," Greg Gorton told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald after the game. "We faced a very talented team who was shooting very well."

 

The Duhawks will regroup and head to Minnesota this weekend for their Friday-Saturday matchup with UW-River Falls (6:00 PM, Friday) and Bethel (8:00 PM, Saturday) as part of Bethel's weekend Perkins Tipoff Tournament.

 

The Duhawks return to the AWC on December 3 to host IIAC opponent Luther College.